The UFC has hit a wall after the massively successful UFC 214 in July.
UFC 215, which was headlined by Amanda Nunes vs Valentina Shevchenko II, has an estimated 100,000 PPV buys, while UFC 216 an estimated 120,000, according to MMA Fighting’s Dave Meltzer.
Compare that to UFC 214’s 850,000 buys, but keep in mind that card featured Jon Jones, one of the UFC’s most consistent draws for the UFC when it comes to pay-per-view.
UFC 216 featured an interim lightweight title affair between Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee, a bout which, despite having some exciting trash talk in the months leading up to it, apparently didn’t deliver anything resembling decent numbers on accord of it.
The event also featured a co-main event between dominant flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson and Ray Borg; Johnson and even though “Mighty Mouse” broke Anderson Silva’s record for most consecutive title defenses with 11, he’s still not known to be a big draw and is usually placed on free FOX or FS1 cards.
2017 has been a slow year for the UFC after the apparent retirement of Ronda Rousey, Jon Jones’ newest failed drug test, and an overall lack of Conor McGregor in the octagon. McGregor fought three times for the UFC in 2016, which was a hugely successful year for the promotion. Yet his one-time run in boxing has kept their biggest star from fighting in the UFC, which has undoubtedly affected PPV buys.
Georges St-Pierre, who used to be the company’s biggest draw, will return from retirement on November 4 when he takes on middleweight champion Michael Bisping, which could stand to be a PPV success.
Or at least, that’s what they need.